How to Communicate More Effectively, Part 1 – Introduction

[How to Communicate More Effectively is a series of guest posts from Gareth L Powell.]

Are you a writer or a publisher?

Would you like to attract more people to your website? Do you need to sell more magazine subscriptions? Are you trying to write a blog post that will galvanise your readers into action?

I receive countless emails from small magazines that inevitably begin with the sentence: “The new issue of XXXXX is now available, featuring the usual eclectic mix of horror, science fiction and fantasy…”

Hardly attention-grabbing, is it?

These days, potential readers have other things to spend their time and money on. If you don’t give them a compelling reason to visit your website, read your blog or subscribe to your magazine, they won’t.

You have to communicate with them.

I speak from experience. In addition to being a published science fiction author, I’ve spent the last ten years working in the direct marketing industry, during which time I’ve written hundreds of sales letters, adverts, brochures, web pages and case studies, and I hold a qualification in Direct & Interactive Marketing from the Institute of Direct Marketing.

What this experience has taught me is that effective communication is as much of a science as it is an art. There are tried and tested techniques that advertisers have been using for decades – techniques that can be easily adapted to improve the response you get from your emails, subscription drives and blog posts.

The best known of these techniques is undoubtedly AIDCA. This formula is so powerful that it has remained in constant use since the 1950s, and has recently found a new lease of life with email and online marketing.

AIDCA stands for: Attention, Interest, Desire, Conviction, and Action. Over the next six days, I’ll be guiding you through each of these stages, giving you a powerful tool to use when you’re trying to elicit a response from your readership.